Verso is an application designed to engage thinking through the use of questions and provocations. What is different though to other applications is that the students’ identity remains anonymous, meaning that the focus is solely on the ideas and information. While at the same time providing teachers with a range of data and statistics associated with the activities through the dashboard.
Unlike other applications, which only gather the initial response, Verso provides deeper engagement by providing the means to follow up from the initial prompt. Once students have provided a response, they are given view of all of the other responses. From there they are able to interact with different ideas through the use of likes and comments.
The basic Verso account is free. This allows teachers to create classes, activities and review the data and statistics. However, there is also an opportunity to engage with a ‘campus’ subscription. This offers the ability to tie together an entire school of teachers, with features such as sharing activities, the ability to upload via web browser and access for coordinators to see statistics across all teachers, subjects and year levels. Pricing for this is dependent on the size of the school.
Kevin Zahner has written a post which outlines some possible uses for Verso including:
- Analysing an image and providing an account of what is seen.
- Gathering questions associated with an inquiry topic.
- Brainstorming anonymously in silence.
- Reflecting and evaluating progress of to learning.
In regards to data and policy, Verso requires only an email address, first and last name, and the school name from teacher users. For student they require first and last name, and a username. Other than that, they do not require any further personal information.
All of the data within the Verso App is securely stored in the AWS Cloud infrastructure and all interactions are handled via secure HTTPS.
Student information is used solely within the Verso application. Teacher users will also receive occasional emails from Verso to let them know of changes within the application, from which they can unsubscribe at any time.
Here are some additional resources:
Verso Blog – A collection of resources and reflections associated with Verso
Terms and Conditions – An outline of the conditions of use associated with Verso.
VersoApp on Vimeo – A range of videos, including case studies and guides.
Provoking Thinking Using Verso – A post from Steve Brophy providing a good introduction to Verso.
If you have any other resources or experiences with Verso, feel free to share. I would love to know.
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